Group Insists Foreign Elements Behind Pantami’s Ordeal over NIN Registration
A civil society group, Transparency Advocacy For Development Initiative (TADI) has stated that the ongoing National Identity Number registration and linking with the SIM cards nationwide must continue and the government must not allow foreign and domestic elements to frustrate the process.
TADI added that some “criminal elements” who were working to frustrate the process were behind the travails of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
TADI has joined the long list of groups defending Pantami since the minister was linked to terrorist groups.
The group, in a release by its Director, Ambassador Yomi David, stated that it was aware that some elements were working hard to frustrate the NIN process and linking to SIM cards and were presently fighting hard to have the minister removed from office.
The group also called on the international community to disregard the media reports linking the minister to terrorists.
According to the group, the reports were fictitious, malicious, and an attempt to malign the minister of communications and digital economy.
The civil society said, “We find it so outrageously demeaning for the unscrupulous elements fanning embers of discord to implicate the United States for credence to their allegations of links with terrorist organisations simply because the minister initiated measures towards curbing the trends of digital malfunctioning and insecure census system that works in tandem with the security architecture of the nation.
“Hence, this is causing the malicious attacks from those benefitting from a near-zero data bank of all inhabitants in the country, whether indigenes or foreigners. Without mincing words, it suffices to state that it emanated from the collaboration of criminal elements whose activities had being seriously combated by the ongoing compulsory linking of NIN to SIM cards of all mobile communication networks operating in the country.
“We are also compelled to call on the international community to disregard this campaign of calumny by the whims of the multinational communication companies whose nefarious activities are being checked by the recent policy introduced by the minister.”
“The campaign of calumny is aimed at tarnishing the image of the charismatic minister using his religious past.
“We in the Transparency Advocacy For Development Initiative (TADI) having related closely with the minister in person even when he served in various Government Agencies which he headed and perform creditably well find it worthy to march in his solidarity.
“Our organisation is a reputable civil society group that epitomizes change as constant human nature and irrespective of the past of any individual.”
Dr. Pantami had earlier stated that he has no issues with Christians, contrary to insinuations being made in some quarters. He noted that has a good relationship with Christians, adding that his personal driver, secretary, and technical adviser are all Christians.
In another interview recently, Dr. Pantami said allegations that he has links with extremists are lies. According to him, the allegations are being spread by people who are unhappy that the government is linking National Identification Number with telephone SIMs.